Cardiff City chairman Mehmet Dalman has confirmed the club are suing FC Nantes for almost £100m over the death of Emiliano Sala.
The striker died in a plane crash in January 2019 while traveling to South Wales from France to complete a £15m transfer to the Bluebirds.
Dalman says the documents to sue Nantes for 110 million euros have been submitted.
“We bought a young man at the peak of his career, in good faith,” Dalman told Talksport.
“Someone, unbeknownst to us, put him on an unclean plane and flew him at a dangerous time of day, or night in this case. Sadly, both people died as a result .
“Why does Cardiff have to sign the check then? Cardiff are not a rich club, they can’t afford it.
“So I don’t see why people say we’re just looking for money. We just want justice.”
Although Dalman claimed that the travel arrangements were made “without our knowledge”, Sala’s inquiry heard that Cardiff the player liaison officer was known to have been aware of the theft.
Dalman confirmed that Cardiff lawyers were responsible for determining the sum requested.
“I really think it’s really a legal question and I really don’t want to answer that question,” he added when asked how they arrived at the €110m fee.
“Our lawyers found the number. There’s a logic to it. It’s not a number we took out of thin air.”
Sala’s plane crashed in the English Channel on January 21, 2019, killing striker and pilot David Ibbotson.
The Welsh club have pledged to take separate legal action against Nantes after the Swiss Federal Court ruled that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) did not have jurisdiction to hear the Bluebirds’ claim for damages.
A club statement released at the end of the 2022-23 season said the damages sought were to “recover what the club paid for Emiliano” and “additional damages for other consecutive losses”.
Cardiff have been subject to a transfer embargo by world governing body Fifa after their initial refusal to pay Nantes the first installment of Sala’s fee.
They paid that sum – believed to be around £7m – in January 2023 after their CAS appeal failed. This payment put an end to the FIFA sanctions.
However, the club are still under a transfer embargo with the EFL over the matter and cannot pay player transfer fees until May 2024.
The club are contesting the EFL’s decision.
Cardiff, managed by Neil Warnock at the time, were relegated from the Premier League later in the season in which Sala died.